back to article Accused hacker Lauri Love's extradition appeal begins

Alleged computer hacker Lauri Love’s appeal against extradition from the UK to the US begins this morning at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. United States prosecutors have accused 33-year-old Love of having “carried out a series of cyber attacks against the websites and computer systems” of a list of American government …

Page:

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a bit torn. On one hand, I don't think much of this guy's defense and supposed mental issues. On the other hand, the American legal system is ridiculous, as attested by these potential 99 years of jail.

    1. rmason Silver badge

      As hinted at in the article this is how the US justice system works.

      Plea bargains all round, especially from the poor.

      It's quite simple, risk a trial with terrible defense, crippling bills and debt and a potential 99 year sentence, or do what almost everyone does and simply plead guilty in exchange for 10 years eligible for parole at some point before that.

      Saves a whole load of time, money and effort on behalf of the state.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        risk 3 trials you mean...

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Plea Bargain

        In the UK the discount for an early guilty plea is normally one third. If the US plea bargain is 66 years for a guilty plea fine, if it is a few months or years against 99 years it is clearly coercive and not justice.

      3. Sanguma

        plead guilty in exchange for 10 years

        Has anyone ever read Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago"?

        A "tenner" was also a standard length there as well.

    2. LeeE Silver badge

      99 years

      A potential sentence of 99 years for this offence is grossly disproportionate and therefore unjust, meaning an extradition under those terms would also be unjust. The extradition should be denied because it would fail to achieve justice, which is, on the face of it, the point of the extradition.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 99 years

        "A potential sentence of 99 years for this offence is grossly disproportionate and therefore unjust"

        it's easy to play amateur judge, jury, attorney in a case for which there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of detailed information as to what, why, and the nature of alleged damages done.

        If I break into a computer 100 times, and it's a 1 year sentence each time, wouldn't that mean a 100 year sentence? Just pointing that out...

        But if he's found guilty, and the sentence is too long, he should definitely appeal it. There are probably more than enough uber-liberal appellate judges (especially in New York and California) who'd feel sorry for him or something, maybe shed a few tears on the bench, and reduce the sentence on principal.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is what he did a crime in the UK? If not, then he should not be handed over. If it is, he should be tried in the UK, because presumably that is where the crime happened.

  2. ShelLuser

    Commit the crime, then do the time...

    Sure, the guy now suddenly has all kinds of health issues and what else, but he should have thought about all that before commuting any actual felonies. Think before acting and all that.

    However, I also oppose the whole deportation request and hope that he'll be tried in the UK. For the simple reason that I don't think the US is looking for justice here but merely trying to play out their own personal agenda.

    Even so, the morale of this story is still the very simple aspect of not committing a crime if you're not ready to deal with the consequences.

    1. Phil W

      Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

      "Sure, the guy now suddenly has all kinds of health issues and what else"

      There's nothing sudden about having Asperger's and to suggest he has only recently developed it as a some kind of defence against extradition is ridiculous.

      As for the asthma, eczema and depression, while these are all conditions that could have developed recently it's not very likely.

      Asthma is a condition that tends to affect people from a young age and either go away by late teens or early 20's or be with you for life.

      Eczema can be triggered by all kinds of things, including anxiety/stress and depression as well as reaction to environmental changes, all of which are likely to be highly exacerbated by extradition and imprisonment in another country.

      Depression rather speaks for itself. Certainly he may have had it before, but being persued by a heavily biased and unfair legal system could definitely trigger it, and trial and imprisonment in a foreign would certainly make it worse quite plausibly to the point of suicide.

      Now none of these excuse him for committing crimes of course, or mean that he shouldn't face trial. But they should certainly be taken into consideration when looking at extradition, but not more so than the common sense fact that the crime he committed he committed in the UK.

      While his actions may have had effects on equipment in the US he was physically in the UK and the things he did were a crime here. It seems perfectly sensible for the US to simply seek prosecution in the UK where he will still face a fairly lengthy (but not stupidly impossible) prison sentence, achieving the same result and saving everyone a lot of hassle.

      It's the 21st century, and the justice systems in both the UK and the US are supposed to be about correction and reform more so than punishment. Dragging someone with mental and physical health problems through numerous extradition hearings and trials to be jailed in another country seems beyond cruel and totally counterproductive to any kind of reform. Especially when such a result might be more realistically achieved through a prosecution in the UK.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

        "There's nothing sudden about having Asperger's and to suggest he has only recently developed it as a some kind of defence against extradition is ridiculous."

        It's the suddenness of the diagnosis which is remarkably convenient. Let me guess ... Simon Baron-Cohen, yet again?

        1. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

          Plenty of people get through life on autistic spectrum with it being common knowledge to family, friends etc. & they just deal with it.

          .. but without getting an official diagnosis.

          If high functioning (which ability to do some hacking would suggest) then likely not to have been officially diagnosed at school (PITA for schools to have lots of special needs people) - in UK schools only liable to get official test diagnosis if person is badly struggling or showing severe behaviour issues (or they went to good school that is proactive about tests (& not just Aspergers, but dyslexia, dyspraxia etc, etc. as lots of "mild" disabilities pass through bog standard schools undiagnosed))

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

            But if he's high functioning, and had no developmental problems identified during his developmental phase, it seems churlish to say "Oooh, I can't stand trial for that because autism".

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Megaphone

            Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

            "Plenty of people get through life on autistic spectrum"

            I suggest that AD[H]D, certain 'autism spectrum disorders', etc. are simply a means by which CERTAIN PEOPLE are trying VERY hard to DIAGNOSE "Success" as A DISORDER.

            AD[H]D - an advantage if you are a hunter, if you are in the military, if you are a policeman or fireman, where you must react quickly to rapid changes in the environment that might KILL you.

            'Ass-Burgers' - not giving a Flying Fornicate about things like 'political correctness' and instead, having too much intelligence to fall for ridiculous "social cues" and just tell people to SAY WHAT YOU MEAN and quit being "subtle", it's IRRITATING.

            Famous, successful people in the past (and presently) are likely to have been "diagnosed" with such things, and yet THOSE CHARACTERISTICS made them HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL. Thomas Edison is possibly one of those people. And maybe Einstein. And maybe Bill Gates.

            Yeah, I just had to say it. Those of us with non-linear creative minds are often considered "eccentric" (like being called 'geeks') and yet WE are the truly BRILLIANT people who invent the new, shiny that everybody craves. [most El Reg readers probably fall into this classification]

            "mortals" giving labels of 'psychological disorders' to brilliant-minded people simply because they don't give a flying fornicate about certain "social rules" that are unimportant anyway. Yeah.

      2. silverfern

        Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

        Nope, Uncle Sam prefers the Old Testament principle of the punishment of sinners, not reform and correction. It's about revenge.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

          ...and profit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison%E2%80%93industrial_complex

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

          "It's about revenge."

          Well, SOCIETY's revenge, yeah. But what's MORE important is DETERRENCE. You know, a few high profile crimes being tried and debated and talked about and the sentence is SO BAD that people say "I better not do that, I don't want to go to jail for a LOOONG time like that!"

          That's the idea, anyway. It's why there's still capital punishment for murder.

          It's also why, when I hear about a criminal who's shot to death by a cop, I say things like "It would be better if he had not died. THEN he would have to go through the trial and jail sentence. Getting shot to death by a cop during the commission of a crime was getting off EASY."

          back in the day, I knew this guy who wanted me to help him break into government computers. This was before anyone had heard about 'hacking' or 'hackers'. This was when the internet was still called "the Arpanet" and the Apple II hadn't been released yet. I told this guy "I don't want ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING like that" and probably mentioned something about "Iron bar hotel" as someplace I did NOT want to go. He ended up going there. And when he did, he had written down my name in his "book". And since I was in the Navy at the time he was arrested, I had to explain all of that to an N.I.S. investigator. It wasn't very fun. I didn't even know the guy's real name, just the handle he always went by - 'Alroandukar'. So every time they asked me about what I knew about this guy, I was really trying hard to think about who they were talking about... And then it was like "Oh, THAT guy. I told him ..." etc.

          1. Long John Brass Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

            "It's about revenge."

            Well, SOCIETY's revenge, yeah. But what's MORE important is DETERRENCE.

            There is an interesting argument to be made here. Once upon a time when we were roving bands of hunters and gatherers, "justice" would have been met out internally by the family/tribe. Inter tribe this would have meant killing off the other guys. eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

            The ability for us as a species to form larger social units meant that at some stage we needed a way to break the inter-personal revenge cycle by saying "No you won't take personal revenge for X. We will do that on your behalf". Later we added a process to make sure that the person(s) accused were actually guilty.

            This is why justice systems have this idea of justice must me seen to be done and justice being blind to everything other than the facts of the case.

            It's this that has allowed us to build bigger and bigger cities and nations. In short making civilisation civil. So revenge definitely was part of the equation. The public safety and rehabilitation stuff came later. The burn the witch trial by media we see today is a regression.

          2. teknopaul Bronze badge

            Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

            With that reasoning it would be justified to shoot you to deter people from fraternizing with criminals. No trial needed. We only have your word that you were not a sympathizer.

            In the long trial by a sensible legal system with ends other than deterring crime by fear is a good idea.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

        "There's nothing sudden about having Asperger's and to suggest he has only recently developed it as a some kind of defence against extradition is ridiculous."

        Why am I reminded of that one 'South Park' episode...

    2. Rob D. Bronze badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Commit the crime, then do the time...

      Of course you meant to say 'allegedly'. Twice. Or should that read, "The morale of this story is don't get accused of a crime by the US government if you're not ready to deal with the consequences regardless of innocence or guilt."

      The fact of being accused by the US government generates a significant up front punishment which is life-changing anyway. He may yet be proven to be guilty as sin - until then, presumed innocent, please.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why extradite for 'Cruel and Unnatural Punishment' when it can be inflicted on you at home by your own domestic Government ?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

    This is really annoying and the old saying "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime." is so true here. It makes us other Aspies look bad. Don't let his BS fool you. We Aspies know right from wrong as much as the next person. Ok we may be crap at some things but we can understand the law.

    Trying to hack the US military is only going to end one way unless you work for Russia or China. He is trying to use that diagnosis as a get out of jail card. It does the rest of us a disservice.

    Personally, I hope he gets told to grow up and gets shipped off to supermax.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      >It makes us other Aspies look bad. Don't let his BS fool you

      They're using this and previous medical as in evidence of his likelihood to commit suicide, not to excuse the crimes. It hasn't worked as US has much better stats with regard to suicide watch than here in the UK, also full-time psychiatrist etc in the institution he'll be remanded to. They've even offered medical escort when he's extradited.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      @AC

      Personally, I hope he gets told to grow up and gets shipped off to supermax.

      I understand your frustration at how having Aspergers is used to justify this sort of hacking, but honestly, you really think 99 years in jail is a fair and just sentence for what he did?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

        >>Personally, I hope he gets told to grow up and gets shipped off to supermax.

        Don't see the point of supermax - not really merited is it?

        >you really think 99 years in jail is a fair and just sentence

        Roman Seleznev is the currently record sentence holder - they asked for 30 years and he got 27. Similar charges (credit card and identity theft, hacking etc) but very many more counts for crime on a more industrial scale than Love whose alleged crimes would have earned a few thousands at most. With Seleznev there was also more direct evidence of harm - named businesses which were bankrupted etc.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

        "you really think 99 years in jail is a fair and just sentence for what he did?"

        If I steal 99 cars, should my sentence be higher than stealing just one?

        Anyway, that's probably what's involved in the 99 year figure. We won't know until it all comes out in the trial.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          @bombastic bob

          We won't know until it all comes out in the trial

          * Trials - plural. Read the article, he is being tried in three separate districts on the same charge so could be found innocent in two but still end up with 99 years because of the third.

          Hardly seems fair?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      "We Aspies know right from wrong as much as the next person. "

      Then you'll know that in ASD there is no set pattern. There is no "I have this, so therefore everyone else is the same"

      My daughter has absolutely no issues with social interaction (which of course we know can't be true as all ASD people can't communicate with others), but at the same time, will "happily"punch you in the face then get annoyed with you, because you are crying. She'll belt around a new app on her ipad like she's had it for years, but will have an hissy fit because she can't put her socks on.

      Yes, it is getting annoying that people are seemingly using ASD as "it's not my fault", but you can't simply say, well I'm OK, so he must be.

    4. Sam Therapy

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      Problematic, that. My son has what was described as "High Functioning Autism", which is probably going to be Asperger's but at his age it's too early to tell. He - sort of - knows right from wrong but often fails at understanding the consequences of his actions. We tread a very fine line between instruction and punishment, in order to prepare him for later in life.

      The real problem is, how can anyone return an objective understanding of someone's, erm, understanding of what they are doing, if it's known and documented they have some fundamental problem with consequences? Everyone with an ASD is different and the way you see the world is different from the way someone else with Asperger's sees it. Then, there's also the - at least to an outsider - seeming attitude of the US system which makes no allowances for mitigation and insists that anyone, including those with mental and/or behavioural "issues" (I hate that word but can't think of a better one right now) should be punished no matter what.

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

        "Everyone with an ASD is different and the way you see the world is different from the way someone else with Asperger's sees it."

        Which really just goes to show what a meaningless portmanteau diagnosis it is. Only psychology does this. You don't get real doctors saying "You have Mulligan's Disease. This may mean that you have a skin rash, or maybe six fingers on one hand, or maybe cancer of the liver, or perhaps you're colour blind. Mulligan's presents differently in every patient"

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          @Ian Johnson

          Which really just goes to show what a meaningless portmanteau diagnosis it is. Only psychology does this. You don't get real doctors saying "You have Mulligan's Disease. This may mean that you have a skin rash, or maybe six fingers on one hand, or maybe cancer of the liver, or perhaps you're colour blind. Mulligan's presents differently in every patient"

          I really hope that you're not trying to claim that ASD doesnt exist with that comment?

    5. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      You're aware that there's a whole spectrum on which Aspergers falls?

      Not everyone on the spectrum is at the same place as you and some do struggle with telling right from wrong.

      Then there's the possibility of linked traits such as pathological demand avoidance which could come into play and are very hard to diagnose or treat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

        "pathological demand avoidance"

        Try getting a diagnosis for that in the UK.

        We know it's what my daughter has, and everyone else that understands it knows that is what she has, but we just have to contend with "ASD". And as she's a girl (look up autism in girls to grasp what I'm on about), it's even more difficult.

        As I said, asking her to put her socks on can end up in all out war.

        It took 9 years of fighting the system to get this far. Hopefully as we have a small grasp of whats going on, we can watch out for the suicide attempts, self harm, eating disorders and chronic depression that is likely to follow in her teen years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          "Try getting a diagnosis for that in the UK."

          Just do what everyone on Mumsnet does and pay for a private one. There is nothing you can't get diagnosed by someone for a few hundred quid. Adding "high functioning" to the diagnosis to mean "doesn't actually have any affect but we like to feel special" is 20% extra.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          "asking her to put her socks on can end up in all out war."

          rebellion. yeah, kids NEVER do THAT. heh.

          I have to wonder what justification she puts behind NOT wearing socks. "I don't like them" [even irrationally] would explain a lot.

          I wonder if she would object so much to an alternative like tights or nylons [depending on her age]. Just a thought. (maybe you could give her the alternative of "this" or "that" where you win either way - a Xanatos gambit, but SHE gets to control which one - so from her perspective, she wins)

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

            @Bob

            "I wonder if she would object so much to an alternative like tights or nylons [depending on her age]. Just a thought. (maybe you could give her the alternative of "this" or "that" where you win either way - a Xanatos gambit, but SHE gets to control which one - so from her perspective, she wins)"

            If you had a bit of a read you would see that his daughter has Pathalogical Demand avoidance,

            Go and google that and understand why your suggestion wont work. Ill give you a hint - even if its something she WANTS she will likely* not do it.

            *Not always

        3. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          @Lost all faith...

          We were really lucky with our son's diagnosis (not for PDD, just straight up autism), Ive heard some horror stories from people who had to fight to get the diagnosis and to get any level of help by the sounds of it you've got a similar story!

          Its something that we really need to work on in this country, it does seem to be getting better but very slowly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

        You're aware that there's a whole spectrum on which Aspergers falls?

        I'm another "ass burger".

        Just to clarify, while Aspergers is on a large spectrum, but it isn't a large spectrum. Yes, there are wide differences among those who have it - we all have personalities too. The bits that make use an aspie are generally the same (although some traits are stronger/weaker than others).

        Following rules is one of those traits.

        Tangent rant: I would certainly not use my difference to excuse anything - in fact, I don't even tell anyone about it. And I hate nothing more than parents going "please excuse my kid for being a little shit.. s/he has aspergers!". No, sorry, it just means you have to explain social rules a little better. The more you excuse it, the worse it will get. Like this case.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

          @Annon

          "I'm another "ass burger"."

          "there are wide differences among those who have"

          " No, sorry, it just means you have to explain social rules a little better. The more you excuse it, the worse it will get. Like this case."

          Your statements contradict each other, you are on one side claiming that people with Aspergers have "Wide differences" but a little further on refuse to accept that someone could have more difficulty with social rules than you.

    6. Phil W

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      As others have said, not everyone with Asperger's or any other form of ASD is the same.

      Not to mention that claiming that people with Asperger's "know right from wrong" is largely irrelevant.

      One of the symptoms of ASD can be problems with impulse control, combined with as described above a difficulty in understanding the relationship of consequences to actions especially in relation to social and moral issues.

      As a result it can be entirely possible to be able to hold the intellectual concept of "doing this is wrong" in your mind, but be unable to resist doing it or be able to grasp to what degree it is wrong i.e. stealing a newspaper or dodging a train fare is wrong and so is murder, but certain people with ASD (but by no means all) might not be able to fully understand the difference.

    7. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.

      And that enables you to speak for all Asperegers sufferers does it?

      No it does not.

      Everyone is different.

      There is no typical "normal" person, Aspergers suffer, Muslim, Christian, Remainer or whatever arbitrary label you pick.

      I could play devils avocado and talk about cliches of some things being more black & white rather than subtly nuanced for Aspies, and that your "I know the law so should he" approach could be construed as symptomatic of that by some people ..and just because something is the law, does not make it right. e.g. until recently lots of homosexual activity was illegal - that was a classic example of a bad law.

  5. Empire of the Pussycat

    he committed the crime in the uk, try him in the uk

    (body)

  6. MacBeton

    Why is everyone so afraid of America?

    Why is every country sucking Americas dick?

    America can get anybody sent to them just by accusing of hacking. No proof needed. Just produce some logfiles or something and get anyone sent to them.

    WTF?

    1. SolidSquid

      There's an extradition treaty our country agreed to previously where both countries agreed to extradite to the other if a crime was committed there. It's only recently that it's come out the treaty is somewhat lopsided (due to the constitution, they require evidence of the crime before extradition) and without the internet getting charged for a crime in one country while present in another wasn't really possible.

      Basically the treaty is out of date, but nobody wants to re-write it and have to deal with the US

  7. Sherminator
    Paris Hilton

    Ahh yes... Come on in Mr USA, how can you shaft us today?

    It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this latest hearing is.

    Will it be yet another example of how intrinsically biased "Special Relationship" between the UK and US is? Or as we actually going to stand on our own two feet in this country and let the UK judicial system deal with this in our courts?

    Whilst I fully appreciate the gravity of the alleged crimes are, and, as other posters have rightly pointed out, you can hardly hack some of these agencies and then expect to get away with it.

    The US Judicial system is hell bent on following up on things like this, as ultimately it has left a number of agencies with egg on their faces for having a plethora of vulnerabilities that could be easily remedied, so nothing like having lost some face internationally!

    That said, I don’t like the way we seem to pull our pants down and wait for a good old US of A shafting every time they want something.

    Paris Hilton... well everyone loves a good shafting.... don't they?? :)

  8. scrubber
    Stop

    Illegal?

    Is it actually illegal to hack a government that routinely violates it's own Constitution, spies on people in all jurisdictions without evidence, breaches the local laws of all countries, including the UK, helps other nations bypass their own laws and whose courts will only agree to hear a case against those agencies if you have standing which requires you to hack their servers to get that evidence?

    1. Phil W

      Re: Illegal?

      Yes. Just like it's illegal to steal from a thief or murder a murderer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Illegal?

        Unless you are that government, of course.

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Illegal?

          "Unless you are that government, of course."

          Much as it is said that history is written by the victor, law is determined by the lawmakers, with all that both statements imply.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019